DANCING WITH HISTORY
Feel like scootin’ a boot? Beaumont is home to the Dixie Dance Hall, located in the historic Crockett Street Entertainment District. Don’t worry if you can’t dance, there are free dance lessons every Saturday night. Although the dance hall itself is a modern permutation, it occupies one of the most historic, and notorious, buildings in the Crockett Street district. The dance hall’s home once served as the Dixie Hotel, a popular Beaumont brothel throughout the first half of the 20th century until authorities shut it down in the 1960s. Transformed from a modest overnighter into a high-class bordello by a former vaudeville dancer turned prostitute known as “Miss Rita”, the Dixie Hotel was once the host of the toast of Beaumont. Rita, who married Beaumont businessman Nathaniel Ainsworth, purchased the Dixie after Ainsworth’s death in 1946 and filled the hotel with lavish furnishings and high-dollar call girls. Succumbing to pressure from Beaumont authorities who, for some reason, had a sudden attack of the “high moral standards” after twenty years, the Dixie reluctantly shut its doors. Rita survived its shutdown, however, and lived the rest of her life in nearby Houston.
Dixie Dance Hall